FAMILY ALBUM II
FROM THE FAMILY ALBUM SERIES: CARTOGRAPHIC AND AFFECTIVE DISPLACEMENTS, 1999-2001
I obliterate the subjects (people) of my family album snapshots with the same visual information on the photograph. This results in some kind of camouflage that conceals subjective history and renders the family snapshot useless. The only memory preserved is social structure. Nostalgia is the lack of a never attained affectio. These works attain to reaffirm interpretation as an affective tool that changes history; it actualizes it by trespassing its historical status.
Family album series started in early 1999. The files got lost and I reconstructed some of them from 2000 to 2001.
STRATEGIES AND APPROPRIATIONS
About the work of Juan Pablo Macías
Northwood School and Family Album 1
Family album 2
Out of Memory
The work of Macias is a game of serial strategies, a machine constituted by systems of signs looking for the transformation of the affective memory.
In each one of the series, the intention of the strategy is different:
The strategy in the first series is to modify the subject-image features, to deform the representative normality of the loving power structure.
In the second series, the strategy is to nulify, to disappear the subjects of affection, to show the formal absence as a reiteration of the lack of affection.
The strategy of the third series, creates those “out of field” features of an image to display the ambit of what is not seen as an intimate liberating landscape. In this way the series stops the conventional saturation of the feast.
Even though all three proposals show clearly differentiated intentions, it would be interesting to analyze, in the field of signs, the representative dynamics that separates and joins them into a global proposal.
We would say that the artistic work, as a sign, can represent a presence or a “presintification” (something unknown or not integrated into the interpretative code), presence of the known (what we call real), presentification of the unexpected (what is not real, to the extreme, the ineffable). Of course, the work as a sign can represent another sign in some kind of uninterrupted semiosis.
In Northwood School and Family Album 1, the visual text maintains the representative grammar of the elementary school year book or of multiple events of photos of remembrance, it creates the illusion of a common object present in the memory and, at the same time, it boycotts the normality of the faces: a possibility that establishes the insidious and disgusting quality; the repetition dislocates reality under the hard and mechanical difference of a fictitious and presentificated deformed object.
In Family Album II, the visual text represents a presence that hides a second representative grammar; at first sight everything looks real (it is normal not to find what it is not seen) and only after a detailed revision we discover the traces of a mechanical obliteration. Here, the presence of the first reality pertains to fiction and the representative quality is discreetly inserted in some kind of a second unapproachable reality.
In Out of Memory, the visual text begins with the representation of presence (as a document), the birthday party, and in a metonymical sense, it intends to recreate the continuity as a “presentification” of the spaces that are not present in the opriginal image. In this series, reality does not hide fiction, and fiction does not hide reality, here the second one follows the first one and viceversa, on a undefined way.
To sumarize, we would say that there are two terms that act in three different ways:
a) the presence hides a “presentification” .
b) the “presentification” hides a prescence.
c) the presence and the “presentification” do not hide one another but complement themselves.
But, where does al this lead us?
The terms are interchangeable in a dual logic:
affection—lack of affection
And what always persists is the representational strategic grammar. Maybe what Macías is trying to do, is to modify the terms to make the relationship notorious; at the end we only have the lean relationship that makes him a stranger within his own affective language; a constant turnover from one term to another, where the term does not matter, but the process of an appropriation of another possibility. In such a way, the relationship becomes a propositional entity.
The appropriation as a liberating act.
Ciudad de México